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America First Legal filed a federal civil rights complaint against Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of controversial beer brand Bud Light, for allegedly instituting discriminatory practices under the guise of diversity, equity, and inclusion, also known as DEI.
The company has witnessed considerable backlash after executives partnered with self-identified transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. America First Legal, a conservative advocacy organization launched by former Trump administration senior adviser Stephen Miller, filed the complaint against Anheuser-Busch on Monday over workforce programs which the group says constitute a violation of civil rights laws.
Anheuser-Busch created a leadership accelerator program that provides “formal mentorship, executive interaction, and leadership development curriculum for those who identify with historically underrepresented groups as they join our organization in a full-time capacity.” The company encouraged “Black, Latinx, and Native American” applicants while omitting an invitation to white and Asian applicants. According to America First Legal, Budweiser, another brand controlled by Anheuser-Busch, established an “unlawful race-based scholarship and internship program” with the United Negro College Fund to support 25 black students who are interested in the food sciences industry.
The company’s most recent annual report likewise noted DEI initiatives, including efforts to increase “overall representation of women in top leadership positions.” America First Legal called the efforts discriminatory and said that the “definition of a woman” held by Anheuser-Busch is likely “not limited to biological females” because of the firm’s partnership with Mulvaney, who chronicled his supposed gender transition on TikTok and subsequently landed countless brand deals with leading companies.
“Iconic American brands, like Anheuser-Busch, have become shells of their founders’ visions due to weak-kneed corporate leadership who routinely cave to idealogues whose thirst for an ever-changing notion of ‘social justice’ is relentless,” America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel Gene Hamilton said in a statement. “All racial discrimination is wrong, and race-based employment programs or opportunities are antithetical to the American ideal. Equality under the law will never be achieved in the United States if its largest corporations are permitted to engage in blatant discrimination against certain groups of citizens.”
Similar civil rights complaints have been filed against universities in recent years over programs that discriminate in accordance with race and sex. Mark Perry, an economics professor emeritus at the University of Michigan-Flint, has filed hundreds of federal Title IX and Title VI complaints in response to the academic programs, many of which have been successful.
Bud Light has been reeling for several weeks after the partnership with Mulvaney.
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement at the end of last week in response to the controversy but did not make mention of Mulvaney, transgenderism, or offer an apology to offended customers. “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” the executive said. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
Anheuser-Busch also has a record of caving to pressure campaigns from the LGBTQ movement: activists hosted a demonstration two years ago in which they poured beverages distributed by Anheuser-Busch into a gutter to criticize donations the company made to lawmakers who sought to limit the spread of radical gender theory among young people. The firm now actively conducts outreach to LGBTQ consumers through marketing campaigns and other internal diversity efforts.